|The Resurrection of Aristocracy|
Rather than improving Western civilization, these ideals pursued to their logical conclusion would destroy it." A passage about "progress shows Evan's disdain for modern egalitarianism and industry: "Progress means far more than the obliteration of all strongly held convictions which promote vigorous action and their replacement by a sickly humanism which stifles action. Progress means more than the great abundance of material goods and the high development of science and technology". Then he offers his nobler definition: "If progress means anything at all, it means mankind using his emotional, sensual, and physical faculties to enjoy life in all its natural beauty rather than through the shabby offerings of a decadant anti-human age.
This is an engaging and far ranging book. It reminds me of the novel The Lord of the Flies. because both books present without sentimentality the theme of a group of people dominating others with physical and psychological forces. To Evans, such domination is healthy. He looks forward to the day when class rule will be undisputed once again. Evans admires the "aristocratic" values of rapacity, intellegence, splendor, strength, and independence, and feels that these values are smothered by modern ways. He is sure that when our current customs and laws collapse due to economic and political disintegration, bold warriors will arise to carve out their territories all over North America and Europe. In these new fiefdoms, artisans and craftsmen will once again work as servants of the local lord, common people will live an overwhelmingly rural lifestyle, and give their agricultural surplus to the rulers or their lieutenants, and the ruling classes will occupy itself with wars and alliances with one another, some trade, and the practice and presevation of intellectual and artistic culture.
"False" ideas of progress will wither, he says, for in the New Age, "No more will we look at past events from the perspective of progress toward the better society, for we will be living in the best possible society. One which corresponds exactly with the essentials of human nature" These "essentials" include the rule of the weak by the strong, male dominance ("It seems that those who advocate total equality for women cannot accept that men and women are physically and psychologically different, a fact that prevents them from ever being equals."),and conflict. ("The birth right of man is not happiness, but (rather is) struggle and conflict with nature and with other men.")t
Evans' ideas are provocative food for thought, particularly when contrasted with different visions of future society. To me, Evans' prophecy seems likely to come more or true in North America only if the per capita wealth continues to drop as population swells [Ed: Malthusian Economics]. In that case, the only alternatives to such a harsh hierarchical type of life woulves other than personal and family glory and wealth. such less selfish actions could only have an impact if widely and actively practiced; and of course such actions would be an aesthetic nightmare if you agree with Evans. Yes, alternative social ideas such male-female partnership and libertarian socialism, will never come to life without material abundance, rule by less greedy or self serving individuals, or both factors together. For those of you, who like me, still harbor a shred of hope that such an alternative society is, like Evans' dream world, one of our possible futures, I highly recommend Fritz Lieber's cautionary tale "Poor Superman", and of course, Machiavellli's "The Prince".
Bold Warrior and Brave Knights-in-Shining-Armor kill people - they're thugs with a "Licence to Kill", and modern weapons can kill alot of people very quickly. When the Black Ages come there won't be a Golden Age of Splendor, it'll be concentration camps and serfdom for most. [Most people will enjoy the new High Culture from their hovels] Will the State wither away and let cities and townships form their own independent [feudal] enclaves ? NO CHANCE !! The Federal Government will trip and stagger as the economy grinds to a halt in the Greater Depression. The riots in the cities will be met with crackdowns and martial law. "We" may see U.N. troups brought in to "restore order"; a War Economy (rationing of supplies, labor, food, gas, and utilities). Any Emergency Powers a desperate Administration can grasp at will be used to keep Law 'N Order - even if it doesn't make any sense anymore.
Worried about a little National Debt ? In Evans' Collapse you'll watch helplessly as your money becomes less valuable than the paper its printed on. The Government will Nationalize anything that doesn't move fast enough - It will do what it has to in order to survive, and even that won't save it. Toleration, cooperation, compromise, and compassion are what our society needs to survive the powermongers and fascists among us !!
Evans makes it clear that, at least, artists must suffer for art. He wants to broaden the burden of suffering a wee bit, so that Everyone suffers so that "society" can have the promise of great art. Suffering Artistes should suffer by themselves and leave the rest of us alone. Our society creates alot of cultural trash, and much of it resurfaces from time to time, and sometimes it has to be quickly buried again - Disco comes to mind! But, 90% of everything is trash -- even William Shakespeare wrote 90% trash! Rearranging Society to put narrowminded Xtian royalist thugs back into power is, frankly, an abomitable idea !
In the next massive financial crisis the Government, all national governments, will do exactly the wrong things to try to save themselves and their influential and monied allies, just as they; did the wrong thing during the Great Depression, and just as they tried to do exactly the wrong things to "protect" little brats from the consequences of their own Net surfing. Unfortunately, Electing Morons and Idiots isn't Un-Constitution-a-babble. The greater depression I predicted here is on it's way to fulfillment in 2008 through 2010...